I say, “Thank You” when someone holds a door for me or when someone compliments my hair or for any random act of kindness…which, I guess, is miraculous in itself.
But, really, what words would one use when the act is so above and beyond what is normal or expected?
I’ve been faced with this question before when trying to express my gratitude in amazing moments.
Like when a surgeon comes to me in the waiting room to tell me that the surgery went well…and what I hear, is that my daughter is still alive.
Like when I watch someone step into Rachel’s world, even momentarily, to talk with her and share a moment of excitement with her. In that moment, I see the gap between disabled and typical, bridged, however briefly, by a divine hand…for the benefit of Rachel, the person, and whoever is fortunate enough to watch the exchange.
And, like now. In this year of Amazing Brutality, as I have grown to call it.
When more than ever, I realize what is mine to do in this world for my daughter.
Having finally accepted that I may have to walk this path alone, I have committed to never again fight with or beg anyone to join me in the journey.
This commitment has required that I acknowledge, challenge, and grieve one of my biggest and most paralyzing fears, “I can’t do this alone. What if something happens to me…what will become of Rachel?”
But, thank God, so far, nothing has happened to me. And so, I have summoned all my courage, committed to my path, and determined that I will continue to walk as long as I can, even if, in my personal life, it seems to be a solitary journey.
I am walking now with a little less fear and without the desperate begging for travel companions. Along the way, something strange and miraculous has happened.
At first I experienced it only as a footprint in the sand.
I have always known God walked with me, sometimes carrying me, as the poem says.
But the sounds of steps behind me and next to me, some close enough to take my hand, have grown louder and louder as, one by one, I am joined by those who have voluntarily taken up our cause, having no responsibility to do so. With no real understanding of our situation, they have, never the less, answered a call from some Voice other than mine.
For all my efforts to do what must be done, I could never have made this happen. It’s as if, in focusing on preventing my biggest fear from coming true, I only made sure it did. In releasing that fear and focusing on my responsibility for doing what is mine to do in this world, no matter what it takes, I’m finally ready to receive all that is also mine to receive.
I can almost hear God saying to me, “You don’t have to fight or beg. Complaining is a waste of time. You only need to ask.”
This is the amazing part of the brutality of walking alone. It is the oxymoron that I have come to know as the mystery of God. When I finally get clear about my purpose; when I finally challenge and dismiss the fears and lies that have blocked my path; when I finally say, “Yes, I will do it, even though I know it’s impossible;” the impossible is transformed into just another day in my brutally amazing life.
And so, how do I say Thank You for such a miracle? I know God understands the unspoken language of my heart, but what about all the people…all of you? Are there any words at all to express my gratitude to those who have stepped into our lives recently and chosen to serve us in so many different ways?
Thank You is such a simple phrase that I have said so often lately that I feel I should change it up somehow, so it doesn’t lose its value.
But, honestly, what other 2 words carry such impact.
I guess what I really want you to know is that when I say, “Thank You,” this is what it means to me:
I recognize your act of kindness and your generosity as an investment…in me and in Rachel. I am aware that you are part of a miraculous provision and an answer to my prayers.
I am willing to pursue my dreams, impossible though they seem to me, because you have reminded me that with God, all things are possible.
My heart has been broken open by the brutal parts of my life, and even this I recognize as a gift, for now it is open to receive all that is amazing.
So, I guess the only thing left for me to say is,